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Born in El Dorado, Arkansas, Talton was ordained to the priesthood on February 1971, in the San Francisco-based Diocese of California. He married Karen Louise Warren in August 1963 and has four children from this union. Karen Talton died in 2003. Talton remarried in 2007, to April Grayson, a lay leader in the Diocese of Los Angeles. He is African American, and one of 37 black bishops who have been consecrated by the Episcopal Church.
Talton studied at California State University, Hayward, California where he earned his B.S. in 1965, and Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California, where he earned his M.Div. in 1970, and ultimately his D.D.
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Positions held include Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of Los Angeles, 1991 to present; Rector, St. Philip's Church, New York City (Harlem), 1985–1990; Mission Officer, Trinity Church Wall Street, New York City, 1981–1985; Rector, St. Philip's Church, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1976–1981; Vicar, Holy Cross Church, Chicago, Illinois, 1973–1976; Vicar, St. Mathias' Mission, and Curate, All Saints' Church, Carmel, California, 1971–1973; and Vicar, Good Shepherd Church, Berkeley, California, 1970-1971.
- Race and prayer: collected voices, many dreams / Malcolm Boyd and Chester L. Talton, editors. Harrisburg, Pa.: Morehouse Pub., c. 2003. xii, 202 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. ISBN 0-8192-1909-6 (pbk.)
- Office of Black Ministries: Chester Lovelle Talton
- Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles: Bishops' Offices
- Jack Curry (6 November 1990). "Los Angeles Names Rector From Harlem As Assistant Bishop". New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
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